British Columbia general election, 1920

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The legislature of British Columbia in session, 1921

The British Columbia general election of 1920 was the fifteenth general election for the Province of British Columbia, Canada. It was held to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The election was called on October 23, 1920, and held on December 1, 1920. The new legislature met for the first time on February 8, 1921.

Although it lost eleven seats in the legislature, and fell from 50% of the popular vote to under 38%, the governing Liberal Party was able to hold on to a slim majority in the legislature for its second consecutive term in government.

The Conservative Party also lost a significant share of its popular vote, but won six additional seats for a total of fifteen, and formed the Official Opposition.

Almost a third of the vote and seven seats were won by independents and by a wide variety of fringe parties.

Results[edit]

Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
1916 Elected % Change # % % Change
     Liberal1 John Oliver 45 36 25 -30.6% 134,167 37.89% -12.11%
     Conservative William John Bowser 42 9 15 +66.7% 110,475 31.20% -9.32%
     Independent2 18 1 3 +200% 36,736 10.37% +7.63%
     Federated Labour3   14 * 3 * 32,230 9.10% *
     People's   1 * 1 * 1,354 0.38% *
Socialist4   7 - - - 12,386 3.50% +2.33%
  Soldier-Farmer/Soldier-Labour5   11 * - * 10,780 3.04% *
  Grand Army of United Veterans6   2 * - * 5,441 1.54% *
     Independent Liberal 3 - - - 3,433 0.97% +0.13%
United Farmers   2 * - * 3,178 0.90% *
     Independent Conservative 2 - - - 1,602 0.45% -1.23%
     Independent Soldier 2 * - * 907 0.26% *
     Independent Farmer 3 * - * 526 0.15% *
Liberal/Conservative   1 * - * 424 0.12% *
     Independent Socialist 1 1 - -100% 419 0.12% -0.62%
     Independent Labour 1 - - - 30 0.01% -1.65%
Total 155 47 47 - 354,088 100%  
Source: Elections BC

Notes:

* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

1 Liberals: One member elected by acclamation. One candidate, J. Oliver, who contested and was elected in both Delta and Victoria City is counted twice.

2 Includes Liberty League of B.C., Vancouver Ratepayers Association, and Women's Freedom League candidates.

3 Includes those candidates not directly nominated by, but supported by the Federated Labour Party.

4 Includes the Prince Rupert Labour candidate running on a Socialist Party platform.

5 Sometimes referred to as a triple alliance of "Farmer-Labour-Soldier" with Soldier-Farmer candidates running in rural Districts (five candidates, 3361 votes) and Soldier-Labour candidates running in urban ones (six candidates, 7419 votes).

6 Some GAUV candidates ran on a joint Soldier-Labour ticket.

Results by riding[edit]

Results of British Columbia general election, 1920
Government Opposition
Member Riding
& party
Riding
& party
Member
     Herbert Frederick Kergin Atlin
Liberal
          Dewdney
Conservative
John Alexander Catherwood     
     John MacKay Yorston Cariboo
Liberal
          Esquimalt
Conservative
Robert Henry Pooley     
     Edward Dodsley Barrow Chilliwack
Liberal
          Kaslo
Conservative
Fred W. Lister     
     John Andrew Buckham Columbia
Liberal
          Lillooet
Conservative
Archibald McDonald     
     James Horace King Cranbrook
Liberal
          Nelson
Conservative
William Oliver Rose     
     John Oliver Delta
Liberal
          Richmond
Conservative
Thomas Pearson     
     Henry George Thomas Perry Fort George
Liberal
          Rossland
Conservative
William Kemble Esling     
     Ezra Churchill Henniger Grand Forks
Liberal
          Similkameen
Conservative
William Alexander McKenzie     
     John Duncan MacLean Greenwood
Liberal
          South Okanagan
Conservative
James William Jones     
     Malcolm Bruce Jackson The Islands
Liberal
          Trail
Conservative
James Hargrave Schofield     
     Frederick William Anderson Kamloops
Liberal
          Vancouver City
Conservative
William John Bowser     
     David Whiteside New Westminster
Liberal
          Victoria City
Conservative
Joshua Hinchcliffe     
     Frederick Arthur Pauline Saanich
Liberal
          Yale
Conservative
John McRae     
     William Hunter Slocan
Liberal
          Comox
People's Party
Thomas Menzies     
     John Wallace deBeque Farris Vancouver City
Liberal
          Fernie
Federated Labour
Thomas Aubert Uphill     
     Malcolm Archibald Macdonald           Newcastle
Federated Labour
Samuel Guthrie     
     Ian Alistair MacKenzie           South Vancouver
Federated Labour
Robert Henry Neelands     
     James Ramsay           Alberni
Independent
Richard John Burde     
     Mary Ellen Smith           Cowichan
Independent
Kenneth Forrest Duncan     
     William Sloan Nanaimo
Liberal
          North Vancouver
Independent
George Samuel Hanes     
     Kenneth Cattanch MacDonald North Okanagan
Liberal
    
     Alexander Malcolm Manson Omineca
Liberal
    
     Thomas Dufferin Pattullo Prince Rupert
Liberal
    
     William Henry Sutherland Revelstoke
Liberal
    
     Joseph Badenoch Clearihue Victoria City
Liberal
    
     John Hart     
     John Oliver 1     
1 Incumbent and Premier-Elect
Source: Elections BC

See also[edit]

Further reading & references[edit]

  • In the Sea of Sterile Mountains: The Chinese in British Columbia, Joseph Morton, J.J. Douglas, Vancouver (1974). Despite its title, a fairly thorough account of the politicians and electoral politics in early BC.